Do you ever get so busy that your multitasking thwarts the high productivity we’re trying to gain? I confess that I’m a chronic multi-tasker (I never have just one window open on my PC). But, I do realize the importance and value of concentrating on one task at a time when I need to get it done right the first time. Over the years, I’ve suffered the consequences that a lack of focus can cause in terms of unintended outcomes and rework.
Last week, I tripped myself up yet again when I found yet another social media site that is overly zealous about exploiting my multi-tasking tendencies. These sites offer to check your address book (with permission) to find out those who are already using the site so that you can increase your own network with people you already know. Not a bad thing at all. However, when you hand-select those in the list who you want to connect with, the next screen does something insidiously genius (on the part of the site’s marketing efforts) and really ought to be labeled the “DANGER WILL ROBINSON DANGER” screen. You’ve assumed that they have invited those who already use the site to connect with you, and this screen looks extremely similar to the previous one (where you did your choice) and asks you to approve the wording on an email composes on your behalf.
I assumed that this email was intended for those I hand-selected, but as soon as I hit “next”, I realized that the site was sending emails to everyone else who was not already a member of the site! The almost identical screen had redisplayed the list of my contacts but had now completed a check box on the names of EVERYONE ELSE! This included my ex-husband, competitors, anyone who I’ve ever sent or received an email from in the past. AND there is no undo or stop button!
Last year this happened to me with TripIt.com (danger Will Robinson danger!) and the latest offender was one of my favorites: Skype!
So a word of caution to any of you who think it might be safe to multi-task when adding contacts to a social media site (I was on the phone – shame on me!) — Danger Will Robinson Danger ! If you want to safeguard your contacts and do not want to INVITE all – be very cautious of the second screen.
Today I don’t use TripIt.com at all because it now connects me with people with whom I do NOT want to exchange my itinerary information (and accidentally allowed TripIt to invite!)
Wishing you a highly productive week!
Carol Dekkers, Software Measurement and Global Software Development expert, author, speaker. Want to engage Carol to be a speaker at your next event? Email Ms. Dekkers at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or visit http://www.caroldekkers.com for details.